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Terry M Castella

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So you want to coat ur sweet kite, here is how you do it...

Mix pure, new silicon sealant with turps/white spirit/mineral spirit (oudorless if possible). MIX thorughly then put into a clear water bottle and shake until the silicon is FULLY suspended, no lumps.

Apply two coats to the extrados 1st coat 5:1, then, leave overnight and then 2nd coat, 3:1 (3 parts white spirit,1 part silicon sealant). Be aware that the first coat will soak through and you dont want a slippery floor ?. The turps evaporates fairly quickly the fully silicon cures up to 24hrs later

The extrodos (outer surface) takes all the wear as its pumped up, deflated, and packed away on the sand (or whatever). Also the extrados takes the main UV hit. Best to start treating the kite in the first year. Im hoping that one treatment will last the life of the kite as silicon doesnt not break down. We will see!

It can be applied applied a broad brush and cereal bowl. Kite must be dried flat.

The kite weight will increase by the about the weight of the silicon chaulk, but the canopy will not hold water as it is hopefully non-porous. The kite MAY still be lighter than original weight.Tear strengh improves, hang time inproves, wear is reduced big time.

For the LE you may wish to try the window film, for areas that touch the sand (not tried) or car wax wipes. If the LE bladder is out u can coat the whole kite in one go (u dont want to unglue valves, or contaminate the bladder). Ive never had a strut blow out, so why add to the weight.

I live in thailand, UV damage is a bitch. Everytime u use the kite it gets lighter. Prevention is better than cure (and MUCH cheaper).

c u on the water..

Doctor Terry ?

PS..Hey, let me know how u get on!

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Northern Kites Australia Do you see how on the spray can you linked to it says “silicon lubricant”? That’s why it won’t work. It will never dry. The silicon and turps mix terry talks about uses a silicon sealant, which will dry.

you would need to use a clear natural cure silicon. 


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On 8/21/2019 at 7:40 PM, andy666 said:

Sorry, didn’t see your question before.

no I haven’t done this myself, but I should give it a go. I’ve also wondered if dissolved stormsure glue would work better then silicon???

Very pricey option though re: stormsure. I can get a 1lt tub from the UK, but it's like over $250 plus postage!


and no I didn't expect it to be $2 :P

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5 hours ago, .Joel said:

Do you have an old kite to test it on? I can send some up your way :) 

I have some spare kite fabric that I was going to do a side by side comparison on between silicon and storm sure, but it’s getting myself motivated to do it that is the problem ?

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  • 1 month later...

Done I bit of testing/experimenting over the Christmas holidays with kite recoating.

firstly I worked out what solvent dissolves silicon the best/fastest/easiest. I tried acetone, turps, mentholated spirits and shellite.

i worked out that shellite was the best option. Dissolves the silicon easily and evaporated quickly.

the way I made up the mixture to coated the test pieces was to mix about 1 part silicon to 10 parts shellite in an ice cream container. I just mixed it for a couple of minutes then poured the liquid into a pump up garden sprayer. Make sure not to pour any remaining bits of solid silicon into the sprayer and only do it when you are ready to coat the kite. Have everything ready and work quickly.

i made up a porosity tester a while ago, so dragged it out. The tester is calibrated and doesn’t give results that can be checked against a database. But it does give a guide and can be used to compare old kites to new. 

The cloth is sandwiched between the 2 seals, held together with magnets. It creates a vac by lifting a water column inside the bottle and you can simply time how long it takes to drop between marks on the bottle. 

I used an old flogged out peter lynn s-arc for the test and a bit of brand new chickara from a cut up f-arc.


i first tested them uncoated to get a starting point. 

i then put some pin holes in the fabric and retested.

next came the recoating. I lay the kite on the grass and sprayed the test area. making sure the cloth was well wet.

Do NOT spray on cement, timber decking, etc. any silicon overspray will creat a VERY slippery surface. 

I let dry for 24 hrs and retested the porosity. I was amazed. The difference was HUGE!

the fabric isn’t now crunchy, but feels soft and slippery. And is extremely hydrophobic.


I don’t think that it will improve the strength of old fabric or how long it will last. But it will definitely improved the ability of the kite to hold air. The next step I guess is to coat an entire kite....



test area 1 uncoated - 2:17 (average over 3)

test area 2 uncoated - 1:58 (average over 3)

control area 2 - 15:00 (calculated as it took 5 minutes to drop 1/3)

test area 2 with 3 pin holes - 1:35

test area 1 coated - 15:00 (calculated)

test area 2 (with 3 pin holes) coated - 18:00 (calculated)


so it has not only improved the porosity, but actually increased it to a level greater then the new fabric. 

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